Lot 521: 1794 Africa ‘Slave Coast’ Nautical Map & Chart

PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries

2016-01-13 11:47:35

Lot 521: Author: Norris, Robert; Title: New Survey of that part of the Coast of Africa comprised between Cape Verga and Cape Formoso, including chiefly the Windward and Gold Coasts…Digested from the draughts, observations and memoirs of Mr. Robert Norris of Liverpool; Place Published: London; Publisher: Laurie & Whittle; Date Published: [1794]; Description: Approximately 58.5 x 28.5". Besides charting the coastline, there are smaller inset maps of the Kingdom of Dahomey; Court of Gato or Regio Creek, with the Entrance of River Benin (1789); and Entrance of River Serra Leone (1790). Written in the margin on verso, in period ink, is the name E.P.Smith, also the number 9. Well-worn, suggestive of active nautical use. Tattered at edges, long tears at several folds, one with a tape repair, but with only a small portion of the map missing at right edge. WorldCat lists a few other, generally smaller, imprints, held by the national libraries of Britain, Scotland, France and Spain, but with no copy in any American institution.Large and very rare nautical map - sailing chart of that portion of the west coast of Africa -the Gold Coast, Ivory Coast and "Slave Coast" - which was the major source of African slaves during the Atlantic slave trade that was not outlawed until 1807-08 by England and the United States. British cartographer Robert Norris, was a Liverpool slave trader for some forty years before his death in 1791 - and a vocal defender of that trade in both his 1789 published memoir and public statements before Parliament. Obviously used on a sailing vessel, possibly one trading in such African "exports" as ivory and gold, but, more likely, by a slave ship. The undocumented provenance is of from an estate in Newport, Rhode Island, where much 18th century wealth was derived from the trade in human cargo. Condition: Very good. PBA Galleries' Sale 578: Americana, Travel/Exploration, Cartography, African/Asian Americana and Directories Thursday, 28th January 2016 Estimate: $2000-3000
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